Hello everyone! I am happy to be here and learn from all of you! I've always loved writing, since I learned to spell! I won awards in school for writing stories from grade 1 to grade 6. Unfortunately, when I hit the pressures of the later grades, I started to keep my writing to myself. When I was thirteen and life threw crazy stressors my way, I dove into writing my first novel. This was quite a while ago, just when computers were starting to become a common household object, but being from a poor family, not owning one. So I used paper and pen to write a 439 page story. I remember the times my hand would cramp before my mind was finished spilling out ideas. Or when I ran out of lined paper and resorted to scraps of paper, on the backs of my previous year's school assignments, lol! I ended up spending the entire summer writing it and then I started high school. I didn't let anyone read it until about two years later, when I handed over the three-inch binder to two school friends and my sister, only to get a vague "it was good." Since then, I have kept all my writing to myself, not trusting family and friends to be honest with me. Later in life, I started working, got married, and then time got away from me. Over the years, I occassionally went back to writing, starting stories, but never finishing them. Eventually, I became a drone in the work force, all imagination being sucked from me through pressures of working in the hamster wheel of life. Anyone else experience this? Now that it's been well over twenty years since I completed my first novel, I find it interesting that being struck with a condition leading to chronic pain has been the new driving force to my writing, since it was emotional pain that started it. Unable to work, or function very well now, I am left with a coffee table as my desk and a sofa as my chair, (as I am only comfortable lying down on my side); the keyboard balanced on the sliver of sofa cushion in front of me. I actually came here to learn as circumstances in my life didn't allow for any formal education in writing, and I feel very under qualified to post my work just yet. (I've just completed a novel and am working on the sequel). I look forward to learning from all of you! I've already been reading some forum posts, and my desire to give my input lead to my signing up. I hope to hear all your honest feedback for anything I do eventually post and mostly, I look forward to reading your work and ideas!